Joao Moreira only caught windburn when he tried to stop the Winx winning streak but the Brazilian was at least able to end an unwanted streak of his own in Sydney on Saturday.
It was a day of highs and lows for the Brazilian; he witnessed the Winx hysteria first hand – albeit on a beaten rival – as the Chris Waller-trained six-year-old won an Australian record-equalling 25th race in the Group One Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Moreira also won his first race in Australia for more than a year and had Japanese stayer Pre Stwick scratched behind the barriers before the Sydney Cup.
The day was all about Winx and Moreira was aboard unplaced Irish visitor Success Days and watched the wonder mare and jockey Hugh Bowman motor past him at the top of the straight.
“I wanted to grab hold of him and get pull along. She is out of this world,” Moreira said. “It was a great thing to witness and it’s fantastic to see what she is doing for the sport here in Australia and around the world.”
Earlier in the day, Moreira snapped a run of outs in Australia that had stretched to 56 races with victory on Catchy in the Group Two Arrowfield 3YO Sprint (1,200m).
“It’s great to get the monkey off my back,” said Moreira, who hadn’t won at Randwick since October 2014. “It’s very nice to be back and ride a winner. She wasn’t in form before the race, and she hasn’t been jumping well. But when she jumped well I knew she would go close. She was last in running but she had plenty left at the top of the straight and let down with a big sprint.”
Catchy rounds them up at the turn and sweeps down with a big run to salute in commanding fashion, taking out the Arrowfield 3YO Sprint @royalrandwick for a Hayes' & Dabernig double on the day. pic.twitter.com/3qcilfgUlx— Sky Racing (@SkyRacingAU) April 14, 2018
The disappointment of the day for Moreira was the late scratching of Japanese visitor Pre Stwick from the Group One Sydney Cup.
Moreira informed vets behind the starting barriers that Pre Stwick was struggling with a sore left front foot and the horse was withdrawn after a short inspection.
“I felt horrible, the connections came a long way expecting to be part of it,” Moreira said. “He cantered nicely around to the gates, but then he felt lame and the vet agreed. I know it’s heartbreaking for connections, but the safety and welfare of the horses comes first. I’m sure they would rather be taking a lame horse home than no horse at all.”
Moreira returns to Sha Tin for a full book of 11 rides book ended by horses he believes have terrific chances.
In the opening event Styling City debuts in the Castle Peak Bay Handicap (1,000m) against six other first starters.
“I haven’t ridden him at the trials but I have ridden him in his last two gallops and he is quite talented,” Moreira said. “To me it looks like he is one of three main chances, along with Quadruple Double and Strathallan.”
The John Size-trained Hezthewonforus makes his local debut in the Class Three Yan Chau Tong Handicap (1,200m).
“This one I have trialled and he feels like a very good horse,” Moreira said.